HR 40project management

managementProject management

TCM 701 1

Exercise 14.1
Day in the Life

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) processes annual federal income tax returns for over
240 million people.The transition between paper-based tax returns to internet-based returns
grows each year, however under a government-industry agreement electronic returns are only
processed via software from private companies (H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, etc.).This
government-industry agreement expires in 2020, leaving the IRS with a project to prepare an
alternative electronic tax return software application free to the public by tax year 2022, filed in

You are an IRS senior executive and assigned as the project manager for the project to
develop the IRS’ alternative electronic tax return software application.The project has been
allotted five fulltime personnel from the IRS’ QA/QC group.You requested from the QA/QC
group’s functional leader:
• One person with technical skills to test-commission the tax preparation application.
• One person with technical skills to test-commission the website development and user
• One person with technical and management skills to run QA/QC for compliance with
current IRS tax regulations and tax calculations.
• One person with management skills to serve as team lead.

The QA/QC group functional manager sent the following email objecting to provide a team

Subj: IRS Project 4-8-15-16-23-42: Alternative Electronic Tax Return

What an exciting project and congratulations on being selected project manager.QA/QC
has processed your resource request; we selected our five best QA/QC personnel for this
important project.One change, you requested a team lead, but the project needs to
provide its own project leadership. I’ve substituted a second software test-commission

The project needs a QA/QC team lead person; someone familiar with IRS’ QA/QC practices.
Compose your reply email to justify the need for a team lead, someone with management and
project skills.

Limit your reply to 300-words or less and submit as a PDF document.

TCM 701 2
Exercise 14.2
Difficult Dozen

Case 1 – The Stickler: According to rule #247
You were hesitant when John Smith was assigned to your project team.Your peers talked
about how detail oriented he was for following company policy and procedures; to the point of
frustrating team members and missing deadlines.While you are not one for breaking rules,
your project primary constraint (schedule) was going to require some creative and innovating
strategies to meet the deadline.After all, the purpose of your project is about changing the
company’s accounts payable on-line invoicing processes.

Sheri Bell and Bill Peterson have already approached you with reservations about working on
the project with John.They want to be on the project, but feel John is not a good team player.
Your CFO has said John has to be on the team to ensure smooth synchronization between the
traditional paper invoices and on-line invoices.

Your first project team meeting is Monday afternoon.What should you do before and during
this kick-off meeting?How will you deal with John and the other team members like Sheri and
Bill during the project?What are some strategies for dealing with ‘sticklers’ like John Smith?

Case 2 – The Minimizer: Sorry, but that’s not my job
This is your big chance in the company; assigned to your first major account project. This is
the one that will launch or break your career.You have a great team; everyone is an expert in
their field.However, you have one challenge: Mark Davis tends to focus on his functional job
responsibilities and not so much on project responsibilities.He has complained in the past to
human resources about performing duties not in his job description.

You need Mark’s expertise on marketing research to develop the advertisement material.
Melinda Steward and Tom Conley have already complained they are delayed with writing the
final ad copy, waiting for Mark to review the draft to see if it matches the demographic group
targeted in the market research plan.Mark left you a voice message that “I’m not a copy
editor, find someone else.”

You have a project review meeting on Monday afternoon.What should you do before and
during this project review meeting?How will you deal with Mark and the other team members
like Melinda and Tom during the project?What are some strategies for dealing with
‘minimizers’ like Mark Davis?

Case 3 – The Know-It-All: I know the solution!
“So Nancy Colton from the interior design group is on your team, good luck.”This was not
what you wanted to hear from your peer project managers.After all, this was your first major
project and the idea of doing a design-build downtown hotel was an exciting prospect.Your
boss said the best people were being assigned to the project, but you did not expect ‘best
people’ to include personality problems.After asking around, you learned that Nancy is a
know-it-all, who can impose her will on other designers, including offering ‘suggestions’ to the
architectural and engineering groups on what to include in their designs.

TCM 701 3
Coly Bryant and Denny Lorenz have already approached you that it is not worth fighting with
Nancy, and they plan to change the architectural floor plans to accommodate Nancy.Your
problem is this re-design work will cost time, and frankly, Coly and Denny’s original design is
more the image the client wanted.

You have a design review with the team and client on Monday afternoon.What should you do
before and during this design review meeting?How will you deal with Nancy and the other
team members like Coly and Denny during the project?What are some strategies for dealing
with ‘know-it-alls’ like Nancy Colton?

Case 4 – The Schemer: I’ll help you if you’ll help me
Scott Southerland left you a voice message: “I want to chat with you before the project meeting
on Monday about the delivery schedule.I think the purchasing group is not doing all they can
for the project.”You also have an e-mail from the Sally Beiger asking why Scott is saying you
want to change the vendor payment terms to net-thirty instead of the company’s standard net-
sixty days.You have worked with Scott on other projects but this is your first time as a project
manager.Scott is a work behind the scenes type person.He is quiet in meetings, going with
the flow.But after a meeting he approaches people one-on-one to change and undue
decisions made in the meeting to match his vision for how things should be done.

You have already been approached by Monica Hoffman and Doug Stegall, complaining that
Scott wants to change the milestone schedule dates for their group’s deliverables.Doug was
very upset that the schedule was being changed less than two days after the department
heads had approved the master schedule.

You have a project review meeting on Monday afternoon.What should you do before and
during the project review meeting?How will you deal with Scott and the other team members
like Monica and Doug during the project?What are some strategies for dealing with
‘schemers’ like Scott Southerland?

Select just one of the cases that interests you and develop your solution for the case
questions. Clearly indicate which case you are addressing:
• The Stickler
• The Minimizer
• The Know-It-All
• The Schemer
Limit your solution to 300-words or less and submit as a PDF document.

TCM 701 1

The Newcastle Nursing and Rehabilitation Residence (NNRR) is a 135-bed skilled nursing
home. NNRR is considering converting a 36-bed wing of their main building for use by patients
who require ventilator-assisted breathing.

The rooms will be slightly smaller than optimum for ventilator patients, but just exceed the
recommended minimum square footage. Enlarging the rooms is not an economic option. In the
main, the conversion will require the addition of electrical wiring to power oxygen-concentrators
that extract 95 percent pure oxygen from room air, portable ventilators that supply the oxygen
under pressure to assist breathing, and small, motor-driven suction devices to remove excess
mucus from a patient’s airway. These rooms must also be connected to an emergency
generator that automatically starts and supplies electrical current if the main electrical supply
fails. Finally, pressure sensors must be connected from each ventilator unit to a sound device
located in the hallway of the ventilator wing. These units sound a strident signal and cause a
hallway light to flash if there is a sharp drop in the airway pressure of a ventilator patient. In
addition to these power needs associated with ventilator patients, power outlets are needed for
several machines that dispense tube feedings of medicines and nutrition, and for IVs, radios,
and similar entertainment devices. Each bed itself needs a power outlet as does the air
mattress pump. Because all rooms are double occupancy, each room needs two full sets of
the outlets.

The equipment noted earlier is normally plugged in at all times when the patient is in his or her
room. Otherwise well patients, however, are moved daily into a “day room” equipped with a
large screen TV and chairs and tables. Most patients must be moved with their portable
ventilators and concentrators or bottled oxygen. Patients who are well enough eat their meals
in the day room and socialize with each other and with visitors. (The socialization is a quiet
process because a large majority of the patients breathe through a tube inserted in their
trachea and are unable to speak aloud.)

The Senior Administrator, Steve Murphy, has decided to set up the conversion process as a
project. Mr. Murphy is considering the choice of a PM. He is trained in business, not hospital
design. He feels a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse might be an appropriate PM.
He also feels that a respiratory therapist (RT) might be a good choice because RTs are
responsible for using the major electrical equipment. Finally, he thinks that the installation and
placing of all the outlets might be better handled by a representative of the electrical contractor
who must carry out the major part of the room conversion.

Discussion Question: Who should Mr. Murphy choose? Defend your choice.

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